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Old 15-03-2016, 10:47   #16
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

Buy without laying eyes on a boat seems a recipe for disaster. JMHO
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Old 15-03-2016, 10:57   #17
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

We've gone as far as making an offer contingent on survey and sea trial remotely.


I would be very hesitant not to see the boat in person at all before handing over the cash.


What kind of budget are we talking about? I would think you could do a short trip for $3-4k. On a $100k boat, that's not a lot to give you the chance to see the boat in real life.
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Old 15-03-2016, 12:37   #18
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

IMHO the cost of a bad purchase decision can be very high compared to the cost of renting accommodation somewhere convenient in the Caribbean and taking your time to find the boat you want. Being hasty/impatient and relying on strangers to basically make major decisions for you is not something I could handle. Maybe cruising has made me risk averse! Another option would be to charter while you search for your ideal boat?
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Old 15-03-2016, 14:14   #19
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

Canter de Jäger, of Seagull Inflateables on Antigua, is the surveyor that went through a 1996 Beneteau Oceanis 44CC for us. He did a very thorough job and will travel, for a small fee I am sure, to islands above and below Antigua. He is very knowledgeable and uncovered items that would have been missed by someone not so professional. His number is + 1 (268) 720-2957.
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Old 15-03-2016, 14:46   #20
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

Thanks for the responses everyone. I am more interested in information relating to the purchase process and paperwork side of things for example exchanging of the title to the boat with out been there in person, paperwork been signed can it be done remotely and have it witnessed? Had a friend sell his boat in the US from Australia and had to go to the consulate to have the signature witnessed.

Thanks for te concern on buying unseen but I understand the risks involved and it's not really what Info I'm after,

Cheers
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Old 15-03-2016, 15:10   #21
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

It has been my one-time experience that all pertenant documents, Bill of Sale, Document Applications, Purchase Agreements, etc may be signed wherever you have access to mail, email and a notary. Hard copies may be returned by next day post. Email will suffice in transferring billing for future mooring or yard expenses. Yacht Brokers maintain escrow accounts to handle the exchange of funds I.e. Earnest money and purchase funds. You may also establish a reserve with your broker to cover other expenses such as survey, sump oil analysis, and commissioning expenses.
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Old 15-03-2016, 15:13   #22
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

I have also used foreign lawyers to establish a British corporation and to act as an officer of this corporation to purchase a vessel, buy insurance, transfer documents ect.
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Old 15-03-2016, 16:28   #23
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

While I have sold more than several boats to buyers "sight unseen" it was not without probably 200 high res digital pictures sent and probably 10-20 mins of video taken of the boat the buyer saw before he moved forward and it was never a boat that I didn't know well and or probably sold a few times before and knew the history.

That being said, you didn't say what is the price range you are looking at. If you're looking at a 10K or a 100K boat and it's all the money you have in the world, I'd be over cautious and got first and review what is there. Find one broker in the area that you want to work with and stick with him. Keep in mind the boat's selling price has to be enough to cover expenses for the broker if he had to travel to another island to inspect of survey a boat.

In my opinion, Most Caribbean boats need some level of work, if they have been used for their intended purposes-cruising. It's a hostile environment and most bargains are bargains for a reason. IE Price reflects condition. I do think if you stick to around the BVI, there are more than a few adequate surveyors to look the boat over for you before making an offer. Most could tell you for a few hours payment of their time is the boat worth moving forward on.
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Old 15-03-2016, 16:32   #24
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

So... here's a question; how do you buy a boat in a foreign country and not pay taxes etc there? If the boat is "sold" there are their complications? I sold a boat in the Caribe once but went to the US Virgins to "complete the sale".
Let's say you are Australian and buy a boat in St Martin. Didn't the boat technically get imported in St Martin once it was sold there?
If you buy it there by completing the title transfer in your home country, how do you exit yourself and the boat with Customs.... you never arrived in their records...?
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Old 15-03-2016, 17:09   #25
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

A fools game, let us know how it turns out
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Old 15-03-2016, 17:34   #26
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

Quote:
Originally Posted by seasick View Post
We bought a boat in Nanny Cay several years ago sight unseen.
I also bought a boat, sight unseen, and it turned out ok...but mostly because the price was so low.

I've also bought several boats over the internet. However, the "conditions" are that I come and see the boat myself...and bring cash payment in full. I've found this a good way to get a reasonable deal. It lets the owner know I am serious, which is what they want.

I agree with the post that says...arrange to view a few boats when you get there. Be ready to buy. I know, it sucks to pay for a room when you want to go straight to a boat. Due diligence. Its worth it.

Best of luck on your adventure. I hope you get a great boat.

FWIW, there's a video (series) from a couple that bought a boat sight unseen in the Caribbean. They sold everything, quit their jobs, etc, and flew to their new boat. In this video they see their boat for the first time:

https://youtu.be/Oaal0frjKv4

Lucky for them, it was a well built Canadian boat (CS36), and they had few real problems, mostly just a lot of fuel polishing.
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Old 15-03-2016, 18:31   #27
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

From another Aussie. I would never consider this approach. Buying a new
Beneteau was without its problems.
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Old 15-03-2016, 19:06   #28
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

Hi Bdruss,

I bought a boat in the Caribbean sight unseen in 2011. It is a long story and I should of known better. Reason of course was the price was very low and I had inspected a sister ship shortly before by the same company (Ex Sunsail) and assumed somewhat that it would be in similar condition etc (ie neglected, basic systems but generally sound) I specifically wanted a blank canvas with which I could customise to my own requirements instead of putting up with previous "owner improvements".

With regard to surveyors. My experience was dismal. They did nothing much more than a cursory glance at the vessel and use a standard template with generic comments. I specifically asked them to look for signs of grounding damage particularly around the rudder because I had been informed there was slight damage to the keel which had me concerned. The survey came up OK but upon my own inspection there was damage to the rudder post secondary bonding which required a fair bit of work. I do believe that the marine surveyors are too close with the charter industry in particular. I'm not suggesting that they would purposely turn a blind eye to anything serious that threatens the vessel/crew safety but they are not going to bite the hand that feeds them either!

I did buy the vessel cheaply but in the end spent the same price again getting it sea worthy and to Australia so it wasn't the bargain it seemed. If you buy an ex charter be aware that any repairs done are likely to be quick and dirty. In my case just about every repair has had to be redone. Would I do it again? No

Hope this helps

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Old 15-03-2016, 19:14   #29
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

I am in the Caribbean and I can tell you quite clearly you would be absolutely nuts to buy anything here site unseen

Absolutely nuts.



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Old 15-03-2016, 19:38   #30
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Re: Buying in Caribbean without been present

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDRUSS View Post
Hello all,

I have tried numerous times to find some information by searching the forums and by good old google but have not had any luck.

My partner and I are setting off travelling in three months and plan to arrive in the Caribbean Islands by late October with the aim of having a yacht already purchased and waiting for us to fix up if need be over a few weeks and set sail at the end of Hurricane season. I have found a couple of yachts that suit our budget and criteria and have been in contact with the brokers. As I plan to buy soon and obviously will not be in person for the purchase, what are the main problems I would encounter? Is there a legal requirement for the buyer to be their in person? I have found information in regards to re-registering the vessel but I want to know more information about the actual purchase process?

We are an Australian couple with current possibilities been purchase in Martinique, Virgin Islands and St Martin. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
Simply put don't.

We too looked at yachts in the carribean during our 80 day road trip in the US.

While we found some good boats the logistics of doing work and sourcing parts in the carribean wasn't worth it.

We found a better selection of boats on the US west coast.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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